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Arsenal legend Paul Merson has warned Mikel Arteta is not ready for the manager’s job at the Emirates.
Former Gunners captain Arteta, 37, is now the leading candidate to become Arsenal manager.
The Spaniard held talks with Arsenal on Sunday, after Man City’s 3-0 win at the Emirates, with chief executive Vinai Venkatesham pictured leaving his Manchester mansion.
The club’s lawyer Huss Fahmy, widely regarded as Arsenal’s chief contract negotiator, was also in attendance and was spotted leaving Arteta’s home before climbing into a Mercedes car.
Arsenal are in talks with City over the availability of their assistant manager, who came close to taking the job before Unai Emery.
But Merson is not convinced Arteta is ready to take the job, with Arsenal struggling under interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.
“This is a big, big gamble putting someone that has never managed before in charge of a club the size of Arsenal,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“It’s all well and good saying he’s worked under Pep Guardiola, but let’s be honest, Guardiola would struggle managing this Arsenal team. Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp would struggle!
“You’re only as good as your players at the end of the day and the idea of Arteta replicating Guardiola’s style of football at the Emirates just falls apart when you look at the players he’ll be working with.”
Merson went on to suggest the proposed decision will not turn Arsenal’s fortunes around.
“Other than the fact he won’t get lost on the way to training, I don’t know what else he brings to the table,” he added.
“I cannot make the case for Arteta because he’s never managed before, yet someone at Arsenal can. How can you do that?
“I want to know who is upstairs at Arsenal saying this is a good appointment. From the club’s perspective, it’s clueless.”